Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Oh, those youthful indiscretions

Maybe the reason Barack is gaining on Hillary in Iowa is his ability to come across as honest about his past:
"I realized that alcohol was beginning to crowd out my energies and could crowd, eventually, my affections for other people....When you're drinking, it can be an incredibly selfish act."
Excuse me, that quote was misattributed to another politician. Here's what Barack actually said:
"You know, I made some bad decisions that I've actually written about. You know, got into drinking. I experimented with drugs," he said. "There was a whole stretch of time that I didn't really apply myself a lot. It wasn't until I got out of high school and went to college that I started realizing, 'Man, I wasted a lot of time.'"
OK, admittedly not the same. But close. What are the odds a nominee or president Barama would get the same treatment from the right that Bush has received from the tolerant left regards those past dalliances?

Rudy's recent defense of Barack, although refreshing and well answered, is actually cross-purposeful--it keeps Obama's image strong against main rival Hillary while it paints Rudy himself as sympathetic, understanding and forgiving, which will surely come in handy when his own youthful indiscretions blowback into view at some point (we already know about his older indiscretions).

Although these confessions sometimes have an air of truth we all know they're largely part of the game, so allow me a golf analogy here. When playing the Masters at Augusta National (a very difficult course) many pro golfers employ a strategy of not making the big mistake, ie--they know they're going to make bogies (little mistakes) here and there but it's that 9 or 10 on one single hole--the disaster hole--that can single-handedly torpedo their entire tournament.

Such a disaster hole in politics might amount to an 11th hour allegation of past drug or alcohol abuse not reported, or perhaps some sexual deviance or a belief in the flying spaghetti monster, especially after the candidate spent countless hours showing his/her family values, etc. In other words, anything to make the golden boy or gal look like a hypocrite. Best to begin early by chipping away at that card, which Bush did so well (which later got him through the 11th hour DUI charge) and which Barama is trying to do right now.

Actually, all this talk of unloading past sins made me think of this rather raunchy parody of a mythical Oprah tell-all, aired earlier in the year.

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